• Shadé Zahrai

People Judge You by These 2 Things

Updated: Aug 21



When I speak to professional women, they tell me that they feel they either need to be a ‘cold-hearted corporate b!#$’, or ‘uber nice’ to be accepted at work.

Have you ever felt this way?


I’ve tried both - but it didn’t work for me.


So what's a better way?


According to research, people judge you by your warmth and your competence. Especially in the early stages of getting to know you.


But many argue that you can only either be warm, or competent. Not both.

This is simply not true.


First, there's a HUGE misconception about what ‘warmth’ means at work.

It isn’t about being ‘overly nice’… which was the mistake I made early in my career, and many other women too!


Warmth is about empathy, consideration and being present when listening (which also happens to be a really important leadership trait).


So, if warmth isn't about being a doormat, then how can you also be competent?

Here's the key: you're far more likely to make a positive impression and to gain trust if you first demonstrate warmth followed by competence.


For example, when meeting a new client or a new colleague, greet that person with genuine friendliness and enthusiasm. Be present and really listen intently. Make an effort to learn their name and to establish rapport. This will help the person feel comfortable around you, feel that you're not a threat and maybe even that you have their best interest in mind.


Now, as always, you have to make adjustments to individual personalities. Some people are warmer than others so adjust your approach to meet their level. Never over-do-it but always be warm.


Next, go ahead with showing your competence and professionalism while maintaining that warmth. This way, you can start on the right foot by being both likeable and someone that people trust and respect.


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© 2020 Shadé Zahrai and Influenceo Global Inc. All rights reserved.